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Basement Ceiling Options

You’d like your unfinished basement to function as living space. It’s time to renovate! What are you going to do with that unsightly maze of plumbing pipes, exposed beams, wires, ductwork, and structural bracing that is presently the ceiling of your basement? No need to despair! There are many popular basement ceiling options that will hide all those systems. Which you choose will depend on your tastes, your budget and the height of your basement.

Beadboard is a type of wood paneling that can be used with most architectural styles. It comes in tongue-in-groove individual boards or sheets of 4 to 8 feet in length. Though it is time consuming to install, the resulting surface may be painted or varnished making it perfect for a wide range of tastes.

Corrugated metal is a popular alternative to traditional basement ceiling materials. You can purchase recycled metal tiles for a rustic look or new for an ultra-modernist feel. Corrugated metal reflects light making it ideal for dark basement rooms.

Drywall is the least expensive and most common basement ceiling solution. It creates a smooth, attractive surface which needs nothing more than a primer and a coat of your favourite colour of paint. The only drawback is that drywall limits your access to plumbing pipes and wiring. 

Painted exposed beams and pipes: A couple coats of paint and the utilitarian features of your basement ceiling become cool, sculptural elements. Go for a dark colour or make it all white. Cover exposed wires with a thin casing or plywood before applying a flat paint. 

Wood paneling gives a classic look without the work of fitting individual boards. It comes in a range of finishes and styles, may be rigid or flexible, attaches directly to the beams causing minimal height degradation and has a unique feel that fits most basement themes. 

Wood planks fit together using a tongue-in-groove system and are attached to metal runners. They are lightweight and sturdy, can be painted or stained, are an easy DIY project and make a basement feel cozy and comfortable.

Drop ceiling tiles (also called a suspended ceiling) are a popular solution for basement ceilings in older homes. They consist of panels or tiles that hang in a metal frame below the main structural ceiling. They’re attractive, cost effective, cover pipes and ductwork, create a cozy feel, have superior noise dampening capabilities, are versatile, easy to install and allow easy access to utilities. 

3D drop ceiling tiles are made from recycled cardboard, are shipped flat and folded at the installation site, are lightweight, cost effective and are a dramatic solution for basement spaces.

Ceiling art tiles fit into a dropped ceiling grid and create a larger than life art installation on the ceiling of your basement!

Acoustic tiles are a type of drop ceiling tile, are great for soundproofing and can be easily removed to access utilities.

PVC tiles are made of vinyl and mimic other materials such as wood, copper and tin. Their molded details can provide your basement ceiling with character! They’re durable, lightweight, won’t sag, use a drop ceiling frame and are mildew and mold resistant. 

Tin Tiles are a decorative element that reflects light and sound making your basement feel intimate and lively! Intricately worked yet thin, they install with minimal height degradation, introduce texture without bulk and become a focal point of the room. Tin tiles come in three types; nail-up tiles, drop ceiling variety and a snap-together version. They can be powder-coated or come in artesian finish.  

Stretch ceilings are a suspended ceiling systems consisting of two components; a perimeter track and stretchy lightweight fabric membrane. Install it flat or stretch it into a 3D formation such as an arch or a dome. Available in many colours, soundproofing, durable, waterproof, non-toxic, self-deodorizing and made of recycled material, this innovative ceiling gives freedom of design with minimal installation and easy upkeep.So many choices! Once you decide on the type of basement ceiling you want, call the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements at (403) 768-0256 or email at They can help you with all your basement renovation needs.